Cadogan Contemporary is delighted to present Now/here, a solo exhibition featuring new work by the
acclaimed British artist Sam Lock.
A key inspiration for Lock is the written word, in particular the work of the dramatists Samuel Beckett and
Harold Pinter. As the latter famously said, ‘Underneath what is said, something else is being said,’ and the
ideas invoked in that observation – notions of double meanings, loss, discovery and the overlapping of past
and present – are key to understanding Lock’s entire oeuvre; in essence, each work is a mediation on the
ambiguities of life revealed through abstraction.
Comprised of fifteen medium and large-scale paintings, as well as sculptures and a suite of works on paper,
this is the artist’s largest presentation to date and his third with the gallery. The paintings are rendered in
Lock’s trademark style. A canvas is prepared with gesso onto which layers of acrylic and household paint
are applied and then manipulated – sanded, stained, scorched, sealed and torn – and also treated to the
effects of a heat gun. The artist sees each canvas as a battleground, with the materials at war with one
another. These collisions are orchestrated to some extent, but there is also a pervading element of chance
and unpredictability, with paint colours changing due to unplanned physical and chemical interactions.
The sculptural works, which Lock describes as ‘containers of energy,’ are created from sheets of copper and,
as with the paintings, are treated as ‘battlegrounds’, being sprayed with nitrate to achieve extraordinary
reactions, as well as exposed to blow-torches and a club hammer. Intrinsic to these works will be the plinths
on which they are mounted, which will have mirrored surfaces, lending them a further optic dimension and
the implication of what the artist calls ‘the presence of absence’.
Finally, Lock’s interest in the written word is further evidenced in a series of book cover works. The source material was gifted by a local charity shop because their condition made them ineligible for sale. Covers and pages are often missing, and their aged character speaks of the passage of time. They are stories in themselves.
Says Freddie Burness, Director of Cadogan Contemporary: ‘While it is formed of three elements, all of the featured works in Now/here are united by Sam’s overarching fascination with excavating what lies under the surface of things, with the layers of life and meaning reflected quite literally in the architecture of each painting, sculpture and drawing. We are delighted to be staging a show by one of the most compelling abstract artists of his generation.’
A catalogue has been produced to accompany this exhibition and is available upon request.
About the artist:
Sam Lock trained at Edinburgh University and Art College, graduating with an MA Fine Art Painting and MA History of Art in 1997. Whilst at college he won a scholarship award to travel to Rome to explore his interest in the relationship between history, archaeology and the processes of painting, a preoccupation that has fired his work and continues to underpin his practice. Originally from London, he lived in Canada, trained at Edinburgh and now lives by the coast in Brighton. He has been a member of the Red Herring Studios in West Hove for just over 2 years. Selected recent exhibitions: Aspect, Solo presentation Twelve Twelve Gallery, Kunst Rai Amsterdam, Unremembered, Twelve Twelve Gallery, Den Haag, Solo Show Cadogan Contemporary, London 2018, The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries London 2017
About Cadogan Contemporary:
Cadogan Contemporary is a truly independent art gallery which was founded in 1980 by Christopher Burness. English in sensibility, the gallery represents both British and international artists. From hyperrealism to pure abstraction, the gallery’s selection is eclectic but retains an enduring identity. Christopher and his son Freddie, who joined the gallery in 2013, continue to exhibit established and critically acclaimed artists, but are always on the lookout for new talent.
Over the past 40 years, the gallery has gained prominence, royal patronage and developed its catalogue of artists, first from its premises in Draycott Avenue and, since 2007, at 87 Old Brompton Road in South Kensington. Today, Cadogan Contemporary benefits from a solid reputation both amongst clients and artists and is a member of the Society of London Art Dealers.